Chris Archer Update: Who's Still In? Who Makes the Most Sense? Brewers and Pirates?

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Chris Archer Update: Who’s Still In? Who Makes the Most Sense? Brewers and Pirates?

Chicago Cubs

Unless the Washington Nationals or New York Mets both pull yet another 180 and decide to sell Bryce Harper or Jacob deGrom at the buzzer – reports say neither is happening, for what it’s worth – the biggest piece moved over the next few hours may, in fact, be the Rays’ Chris Archer. Yes, after years of teasing us, this time it might finally happen.

Our latest on Archer last night revealed that there were roughly six teams still in the mix, including the Padres, Braves, Yankees, Brewers, and two mystery teams, one of which is almost certainly the Pirates.

As for those six teams in particular, I think you can probably count out the Yankees, who exist in the Rays division and have already acquired two starting pitchers this deadline in J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn. Sure, Archer is better than both and controllable beyond this season, but forking over what it’ll take to get him doesn’t really seem to make much sense to me for the Yankees right now.

And then there’s the Padres, the strangest case of them all. Although we could make a case for why they might want Archer in the long-term, the lack of value gained over the next two months was supposed to be a deal-breaker. But then, I saw this:

Now the Padres are the *favorites*?! Well, not so fast, says Jon Morosi:

He might hedge his bet with a “could change in coming hours,” but I think he got it right the first time. It was never crazy to see the Padres involved, but I just don’t think there’s enough smoke to make a fire.

The Braves, in my opinion, remain a theoretical options – perhaps not entirely unlike the Cubs (though the Braves have far more prospect capital to actually make it happen) – but far more interesting to us are the Pirates and Brewers.

In a lot of ways, both teams make a TON of sense for the unique value Chris Archer provides. Think about it. Both teams are just outside the postseason picture (well, the Brewers have one of the Wild Card spots, but they’re just outside the NL Central lead) and could use a bump down the stretch, particularly in the rotation. Both teams have financial limitations that make contracts like Archers *particularly* valuable. And finally, both teams have windows of contention in the present and near-future, making the remaining years on Archer’s deal a perfect match for their plans.

And with reports just trickling out that the Brewers are targeting the Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez, you can bet they’re serious about adding a starter before the clock strikes three.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami